10 Signs You’re Depressed in London
As a psychotherapist working in central London, I get to see just how common depression is for those living and working in the city. London can be a fast-paced and stressful environment, with little time for self care. It’s important to be aware of the signs of depression, so you can seek the help and support you need.
The following list are signs of depression, but many of them could also have other causes. So always check with your GP to rule out any underlying medical issues.
1. Feeling sad
You might have a sense of emptiness, or feelings of sadness which don’t go away. There can also be feelings of hopelessness, or being stuck on the treadmill at work. You might feel a lack of motivation, as if there’s no point in trying to change things.
If you’ve been feeling like this for a while, and it’s affecting your quality of life, it could be a sign of depression.
2. Sleeping too much, or not enough
Depression can cause havoc with your sleep patterns. You might find it hard to initially get to sleep, or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, or too early in the morning. Insomnia will leave you feeling tired and drained during the day, unable to concentrate at work.
Depression can also lead to oversleeping – going to bed very early, and not being able to get up in the morning. Sleeping too much can also make you tired during the day, and you can feel as if you still haven’t had enough sleep.
3. Loss of previous interests
If you find yourself uninterested in activities or hobbies that once got you excited, it could be a sign of depression. Depression can bring with it a lack of motivation, and feeling like there’s no point in engaging anymore.
Loss of libido is also common with depression, due to a lack of energy and interest.
4. Lack of energy
If you have less energy than you normally have, and there’s no obvious reason for it, it could be a sign of depression. It might mean feeling drained after a short walk, or not having enough energy to get you through the day. You might feel exhausted just talking to someone, or too tired to get out of bed.
5. Difficulty concentrating
Depression affects how your brain works, and can cause a slowing in cognitive ability, or cloudiness in your thinking. If you’re finding it more difficult than usual to concentrate or focus on tasks that were once easy, it might be a sign of depression.
6. Irritability and mood swings
Depression can cause you to loose your temper more than usual. You might find that you have less patience with people than you previously had. It might feel like everyone around you is incompetent, or you find them stressful to deal with.
You might be on edge all of the time, and not able to relax or wind down after work. Or your mood may keep fluctuating between feeling fine and feeling sad or empty, for no apparent reason.
7. Headaches and physical symptoms
Depression can cause physical symptoms such as headaches and tension pains in the muscles and joints, particularly in the back and chest.
Digestive problems can occur as well, because of the stress, or because of a change in eating habits.
8. Changes in appetite or weight
Depression can cause changes in what and when you eat. You might be eating more to try and fill that ’emotional gap’, or eating fast foods or sugary foods for a temporary mood uplift.
Or the stress and anxiety that often accompanies depression may be causing a loss in appetite. You might also be limiting your food intake to feel a sense of control which you don’t have in you life.
Changes in appetite and what you eat will also affect your weight. If you’re weight has changed significantly, it could be due to depression.
9. Changes in behaviour
Depression can cause you to think and act differently to how you normally do. If you were once social, you might be staying in and avoiding people. It might be the only place where you feel comfortable.
Or you might be engaging in risky sexual practices, or drinking too much in order to protect yourself from difficult feelings.
10. Thoughts of ending your life
You may have thoughts of suicide which are unexpected and out of the blue, or you may be thinking about plans to end your life. These are signs of depression which need to be addressed right away.
You may feel that the people close to you would be better off if you weren’t around. And you might feel worthless and hopeless. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings, but still seek help from a therapist or GP.
If you’re on the brink of suicide, walk into an A&E department at the nearest hospital, and tell them about your intentions.
How IN Therapy London can help
Many of the signs above are a normal part of life – it’s when you have them for an extended period of time that you should think about getting help. Depression is treatable, and talking therapies such as psychotherapy and counselling can be very effective.
It’s easy to feel alone in London, despite all the people around you. But there’s help and support available. Have a look at my Depression Therapy Guide, and don’t hesitate to contact me, if you think I could help.